- Sat, 2007-08-11 13:27
Ayo is the stunning artist signed to Polydor France. Her new album entitled Joyful has reached platinum status in France and is out now in the UK (released August 27th 2007). We caught up with Ayo for a quick chat about her new single and album, her musical roots and memories.
“I Like Music because… it’s like a therapy and it’s a great way to express yourself.” Ayo
ILM: Your new single, Down On My Knees, is out this week. Can you tell us how the track came about and describe its whole vibe?
Ayo: It’s a real story but the difference is I didn’t actually get down on my knees, but I was in that situation, because I was too proud to say how I really felt at the time. I wrote the song after my boyfriend at the time left me and I said ‘ok, it’s all good; it’s over anyway, but I didn’t feel like that really.”
ILM: Your new album, Joyful is out now (released Monday August 27th). Which track did you most enjoy laying down in the studio?
Ayo: I enjoyed them all so much and it was such a fast recording session, because I did everything in five days. It went really fast and it was very intense, but it was like that for every song, so I couldn’t really pick one song that I enjoyed in particular, I enjoyed all of them.
ILM: ''Joyful is the endlessly listenable first album. A heart-warming record for the times we live in” Please can you describe the Ayo process of making such beautiful music?
Ayo: The lyrics and the melody, everything happens in a very natural way. It’s all experiences and real stories, that’s why it’s a kind of relief writing about things. It’s speaking to somebody, so I feel relieved, like therapy.
ILM: You played the violin, and now you play the piano (since the age of 10) and guitar. Which musical instrument could you not live without?
Ayo: The guitar, it’s the most personal instrument. It’s like, it’s so intimate and it’s always available to you. It’s the most beautiful instrument.
ILM: Your father is Nigerian and your mother a Romanian Gypsy making you an “African Gypsy” And there are threads of soul, folk, afro beat and reggae that weave through your songs – what kind of music did you listen to growing up and what are your fondest musical memories of those times?
Ayo: Actually, the best musical memories I have are something to do with my dad because my father used to be a DJ in the 70s and he always used to play music at home. In the 80s when I was born he was not a DJ anymore, only in the evening to finance his studies. But when I was born he always used to play music. I loved listening to them; we always used to dance at home. That’s one of the best memories I have; a time when my mother was still healthy, that’s one of the best memories I have.
ILM: Your mother and father must both be proud of your album?
Ayo: My dad is very proud, but my mum hasn’t seen me playing yet.
ILM: You’ve moved around the world nomadically. Please can you describe your favourite places on earth?
Ayo: My favourite place on earth is wherever my family and my boyfriend are. Wherever they are, that’s where I feel at home, and that’s the most important thing to me.
ILM: How do you take care of yourselves and your image while on tour?
Ayo: I’m trying harder to look after myself, but I look after my son, so spend a lot of time taking care of him. It’s not easy to juggle everything.
ILM: What’s your advice to young musicians who are just starting out? Any tips?
Ayo: The thing is you have to live life before you go into the studio to record. You have to live something before you are able to talk about certain things. And it’s very important to have a message. And you can’t really have a message until you’ve been out there and lived life and until you are sure what you want to talk about. Try things, you need experiences first. Then keep on trying and work hard and be persistent.